Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Kissing Bough by Alysha Ellis

One Christmas kiss, and Lucinda will never be the same.

No one expects mere Miss Lucinda Demerham to refuse a proposal from Edward, Lord Beaufield, no matter how stuffy and puritanical he might be. His invitation to Lucinda and her parents to spend Christmas at Beaufield Hall is seen as a certain preamble to an engagement. But when Edward’s younger brother James erupts onto the scene, the dreary Beaufield Christmas is suddenly alight with revelry.

There are feasts, surprises and unexpected joy—and a Kissing Bough above the door.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The Kissing Bough was an entertaining novelette that kept me smiling nearly the entire time I read it. Our heroine, Lucinda, is being courted by Lord Beaufield, who has traveled to London for the express purpose of finding a suitable young lady to marry. As a lord, Edward thinks very highly of himself and the duties of his title, and considers finding an appropriate match to be part and parcel of his position. Much to her dismay, Lucinda has somehow caught his eye. What’s worse is that Lucinda’s mother has become enchanted by the idea of her daughter marrying a lord. Because we get to spend a bit of time inside Lucinda’s head, we learn that she is suppressing much of her personality out of respect for her parents while horrified at the idea of marrying someone so … boring. Needless to say that Lucinda is not overjoyed when she and her parents join Edward and his mother at their estate for a weekend – she understands that the possibility of a marriage contract is as likely as it is undesirable to her. But when Edward’s brother James surprises his family with his return from the Americas, bringing with him the trappings of the holiday season, it merely serves to highlight Edward’s staidness and that Lucinda’s future is not what she wishes it to be.

I loved Lucinda. She was in the unenviable position of pleasing her parents while trying to maintain her sense of self. She is the type of heroine I’ve always enjoyed reading of in historical romances – not satisfied with or resolved to the expected role of a young lady of the time. Yes, she apparently embraced and excelled at the expected arts and practices of the time with her watercolors, piano playing, and similar ladylike pursuits. But she also read, thought for herself, and enjoyed participating in activities that made her happy. As is often the case with historical romances, especially ones as short as this one, her affection and declaration of love for James came quickly. Yet considering how well-matched they seemed to be, it worked. Due to its length, The Kissing Bough is more of a look at how Lucinda and James meet and a glimpse into the life ahead of them. And Ellis manages to weave enough of a tale that I felt that this chapter of their lives was a complete story. That it was a holiday-themed read that kept me smiling the entire time was an added bonus.

Alysha Ellis lives in Australia and when she isn't busy drinking champagne, eating chocolate and letting her inner tart run free, she writes erotic comedy. Her favourite quote comes from Mae West… A hard man is good to find. Who could argue with that? Alysha tries very hard to be bad, because bad girls have all the fun.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Kissing Bough by Alysha Ellis to read and review.

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